America's Top Dog on A&E
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About America's Top Dog
Top K9 cops and civilian dogs alongside their handlers compete nose-to-nose on the ultimate K9 obstacle course.
America's Top Dog is a television series that premiered on A&E in January 2020.
In the show, five dogs and their handlers—usually four police K-9 teams and one civilian team—compete in a three-phase competition. The first phase, the Canine Combine, is an obstacle course that includes the car slalom (where the dogs jump in and out of cars), the fire escape (where the dogs pull down the doors to get to the next level), the high jump (where the dogs jump over walls, or in some cases, crawl under them), the rope bridge (where the dogs run across an unstable rope bridge), and the splashdown (where the dogs swim across a small pool to the finish). The fastest four dogs through the Combine advance to the next phase.
The next phase is the Boneyard, a scent detection test, where the dogs try to find as many scented objects as possible (out of five), and alert their handlers to the find, in a maze of rooms in five minutes or less. For each dog's run, the scent used is whatever the dog is most familiar with. The two dogs that find the most objects (or that find them the fastest, in case of a tie) advance to the final phase.
In the last phase, the Doghouse, the dogs and handlers make their way through a "house," including knocking down the door, climbing through the window into a spider-web of bungees, low-crawling, climbing boxes, running through a duct-work tunnel, breaching two doors (with the dog pulling the door open), and finally apprehending a "suspect," including taking him down and then releasing on command and returning to the handler.
The dog that completes the phase the fastest wins the title of "America's Top Dog," $10,000, an additional $5,000 donated to the animal charity of their choice, and the opportunity to compete in the grand finale, which has a $25,000 prize.
Last episode of America's Top Dog on A&E aired on March 18, 2020.